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Partnering for growth: How an Italian salad producer has reduced risk and delivered greater value to customers

Orto Bellina - BlogImg

Orto Bellina is an Italian family business that provides salads to the Italian, Swedish and German markets. Started by Fulvio Bellina with his wife and sons in 2001, the company operates out of the beautiful rural setting of Gorlago in the province of Bergamo. They produce what they call “biological” salads which are not treated with chemical agents, but produced with natural inputs; both unwashed and washed, which is ready to be dressed and eaten. The company prides itself on high quality, naturally produced products and is well-known for this. As the company has grown, so have the challenges around food safety, quality, reliability and sorting.

Food quality and safety is a major risk and a priority in any food business and can be catastrophic and costly if there are issues or major problems. To ensure the highest quality and food safety requirements could be met the company decided to invest in laser technology to sort their product and to ensure consumer safety.Orto Bellina - 03

Having the confidence that all foreign materials are being removed from their beautiful salads before they reach consumers is vital. Reducing product sorting down-time is also a very important in being able to reduce costs and deliver greater value for the company and its customers.

Orto Bellina wanted to guarantee the removal of core, discolorations and any foreign material, while increasing yield. Orto Bellina needed to ensure they had the very best solution for both the present and the future of their growing business. They chose TOMRA Food.

With leaf vegetables it is almost impossible to manually sort, as when the product is layered foreign matter can easily be missed and some matter cannot be detected by the human eye. Orto Bellina - 02Camera technology for sorting is effective but laser can see a lot of additional properties that camera cannot detect, resulting in it being a lot more reliable. Therefore Orto Bellina installed a TOMRA Helius as the laser was identified to have the best performance for their requirements and the most reliable method of sorting. With up to 12 individual laser signals, the Helius detects all colour, and structural defects from a stream of good product. The Helius is also able to sort based on biological characteristics. Combined with TOMRA’s patented Fluo technology, the Helius detects the slightest shades of chlorophyll to create an even better contrast between good products and defects.

Since partnering with TOMRA, Orto Bellina have consolidated and increased business with their customers. Orto Bellina - 01They have seen a return of investment from their partnership with TOMRA Food, as their ability to guarantee a high-quality product has resulted in more business and have decided to order a new Helius with front and back lasers to see both the face of the leaf and continue to guaranty a high-quality product for their customers.

Downtime is costly for any food production company. To ensure that they can deliver to their customers, Orto Bellina have also signed up to TOMRA Care. This ensures uptime is maximized, their staff are well trained, spare parts are easily available, and their processing line is optimized through having TOMRA expert support.

Orto Bellina are very happy with the sorting solution offered by TOMRA Food and have continued to work with TOMRA Food as they increase their capacity to meet the additional demand from their new customers. With the Helius, being a compact design and easy to install on existing lines, Orto Bellina have been able to invest as required and ensure they are able to scale effectively, Download this content button-bluemaking the most of the opportunities and building their brand, by guaranteeing a safe product for their customers. 


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Topics: Vegetables, Fresh Cut, News article, Customer testimonials, Equipment & Technology


Written by TOMRA Food

We design and manufacture sensor-based sorting machines and integrated post-harvest solutions for the food industry.